Light Microfinance bagged the award for Best Corporate Communications Initiative at DNA 2023 Awards from Banking Frontiers Jury:
Light Microfinance provides micro and meso finance products and services with gender and poverty-focused programs. Its target audience is rural and peri-urban areas, with a specific focus on poor women. The company operates in 9 states – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand.
The company has undertaken a corporate communications program, called ‘My Life, My Story’, which it describes as an initiative with a profound objective of turning the spotlight on the frequently overlooked tales of success and resilience emerging from the heart of rural India. It attempts to recognize the challenges faced by women, who predominantly lead the lives of homemakers but have taken a bold stride into the realm of entrepreneurship to fulfil their family’s needs.
One of the core objectives of the initiative was to provide a platform for these women to share their journeys. Stepping in front of a camera and speaking their achievements is not just about showcasing their accomplishments; it is about building confidence, both within themselves and among the broader community. Through storytelling, these women not only empower themselves but also contribute to a larger narrative of resilience and determination.
The initiative was driven by a dedicated Corporate Communications team of the company. Launched in September 2022, the initiative had as its central theme the exploration of various works and entrepreneurial ventures undertaken by these women. These comprised a diverse spectrum of activities that these women engage in, ranging from agriculture and handicrafts to small-scale businesses and innovative local services. The geographical reach of the initiative was extensive, as it covered even urban centers and conventional media coverage areas. The narratives were shared through the company’s social media handles, website and YouTube channel.
The final result of ‘My Life, My Story’ initiative showcased both qualitative and quantitative measures of success. Some of the discernible outcomes were:
- It garnered widespread attention on social media platforms. The posts narrating the inspiring attempts reached a wider audience.
- Leveraging the power of WhatsApp, the company communicated to nearly 100,000 customers through private sharing and group forwarding.
- One of the most significant results has been the boost in confidence and empowerment observed among the women covered by the initiative. By sharing their stories, these women have not only gained a sense of pride in their accomplishments but have also become sources of inspiration for others facing similar challenges.
- The initiative has brought to the fore the resilience and resourcefulness of rural women entrepreneurs, which have sensitized urban population to the challenges they face and the contributions they make to the society.
- Through digital dissemination, the initiative highlighted the pivotal role in breaking down geographic barriers, connecting rural and urban populations.
- In the light of the success of the initiative, Light now has created a 3-year vision, which aims at:
- Wider geographical reach, including locations in remote areas. By venturing deeper into rural pockets and Tier III towns, the initiative aims to provide a platform for women who are often overlooked but possessed inspiring mindset of entrepreneurship.
- The initiative plans to leverage cutting-edge digital technologies to enhance the storytelling capabilities. This includes the use of interactive media, augmented reality, and virtual reality to create immersive experiences.
- The aim is to forge collaborations with NGOs, governmental agencies and other stakeholders to collectively promote and support the growth of rural women entrepreneurs.
- To supplement the storytelling aspect, there will be workshops, training sessions, and empowerment programs tailored for the women featured in the stories.
- Light intends to take the initiative beyond the national borders to showcase the stories of the Indian rural women entrepreneurs.